What is an Employee Wellness Program

What is an employee wellness program

Employee wellness programs are an additional benefit provided by employers in the form of health benefits. Employee Wellness Programs have a holistic purview by aiming to improve the physical as well as mental well-being of its employees. These may be general to all the employees as well as specific to each individual, beyond the mandatory medical insurance provided by the company. 

Irrespective of the size of the company, many companies today are realizing the benefit and potential of the Employee Wellness Program for their employees as well as the overall performance of the company as well. 

Employee Wellness Program is a simple exhaustive concept, in which the company thinks about the all-round wellness of its employees, and ways to improve it. These programs can include any combination of ideas to improve the physical, mental, social, and financial health of its employees. 

There are many benefits of the Employee Wellness Program that are accrued by both the employer and employee simultaneously.  Simple ideas that can be implemented by the employee on a day to day bases, such as yoga classes, dietary awareness programs, smoking cessation programs, mental health awareness programs, counseling sessions, and financial guidance sessions are popular programs amongst companies today. Especially during Covid-19 and a world post-COVID-19, companies are actively working in developing a holistic and inclusive Employee Wellness Program to help their employees cope up with adversities. 

Contrary to popular belief, most of these plans are very easy to manage and are cost-effective. The company doesn’t need to set up any separate department for handling any of these activities, instead, it can give its employees the freedom to come up with their own solutions. Thus, it becomes an inclusive bottom-up democratic approach to a whole range of problems and solutions. 

In an ideal scenario, all programs should be designed by the employees themselves. Active participation of employees in the ideation and implementation of different programs promotes transparency, camaraderie, and a democratic ethos in the office space. This can further be encouraged by the use of technology and by providing other kinds of incentives. An example would be the use of health fitness bands and incentivizing those showing certain levels of performance. One common problem at the workplace is absenteeism; this can be easily curbed by effective Employee Wellness Programs as studies have shown a direct positive correlation between attendance and Employee Wellness programs. 

Not only do these programs reduce absenteeism but it also improves worker’s overall morale and a healthier working environment. Not only that, but it also has a direct bearing on the productivity of the company too. Research shows that the return on investment on employee wellness programs in the US is 3 dollars for every one dollar spent by the company. These numbers are also corroborated by the fact that Employee Wellness Programs have gained popularity in recent times wherein more and more companies, small and big, have actively started including and promoting the Employee Wellness Program.  

Furthermore, regular participation in the Employee Wellness Program has proved increased retention capabilities for its employees. All Employee Wellness Program campaigns eventually lead to the formation of high-value human resource capital. The core of it is to ensure the happiness of employees by taking care of their mental and physical wellbeing. It is no secret that happier employees will show higher levels of productivity. However, the Employee Wellness Program is not merely about profits rather it is essentially about employee satisfaction wherein benefits of comprehensive Employee Wellness Programs are numerous and definitely outweigh the costs.

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